Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based employment discrimination, and it against the law. In general, there are two primary types of workplace sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Both can be damaging to not only the victim’s career but also to their physical and emotional well-being.
“Quid pro quo” is a phrase taken from Latin that means “something for something.” In the context of sexual harassment, it refers to a worker being offered benefits—including continued employment—in exchange for sex-related favors. A manager who promises a raise to a worker if the worker agrees to go on a date with him is probably guilty of quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is often fairly overt and easy to recognize, but this is not always the case with the other type of sexual harassment.
A Hostile Work Environment Can Develop Quietly
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when the atmosphere in the workplace is such that a reasonable person would find it abusive. A situation may also be considered hostile work environment sexual harassment if the harassment interferes with the victim’s performance of his or her job. This type of harassment is often more subtle than quid pro quo harassment, and the types of behavior involved often give perpetrators what they think is “plausible deniability.”...